December 18, 2010

"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store?  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

For the last 45 years the elder women of my family have been making Christmas stockings for their children.  They are felt, of a very specific style, and treasured family heirlooms.  This year the tradition was passed on to me.  Let me tell you, its way more work than it looks.  Which is why I was so touched by these two Riley made by herself for the dogs.  With each stitch and each creative decision I feel the love of the Grandmothers, the impulse to make life a little more beautiful, independence from commercial dreck, and a circle of evolving history and capability passed from wrinkled old hands to nimble dewy ones.  

I don't believe a baby called Jesus was born on December 24 in a manger under a huge portentious star and visited by kings.  So much more the miracle, then, that our society pauses to celebrate the birth and the active potential of love every year.  That's pretty nice.  And I like to look around my house, every December, to see cheerful little tokens of love all around.  Most of the decorations on the tree are reminders of love.  The stockings hang there practically dripping sparkled puddles of love on the floor.  All of it contains a circle of history and invisible connection to family here and gone.   And its personal, you can count each stitch, a literal thing, also a metaphor of time and generosity.  I think it must be just that - the invisible made tangible - that gives a sacred flavor to the whole season.  Just in time to rescue us from the mall and the bank; there is Love.  Amen.

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